By Bairavee Sivakanthan.

The Aftermath of Hamilton’s Transfer…

In the turbulent world of Formula 1, the recent surprise transfer of Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes to join Ferrari after 11 years, has shocked the sporting crowd and may create heightened sparks and rivalries amongst teams that may last seasons to come. With Hamilton set to join Ferrari in the 2024 season, let’s explore what’s to come with this transfer, amongst teams and which rivalries will spawn and dominate, gripping and exciting fans resulting in an electrifying season of intense motorsport racing.

The most immediate rivalry that fans will look to is the one derived from this striking transfer of Hamilton, which involves his former team Mercedes against his new team of Ferrari. Both teams are fan favourites and popular in Formula 1 with renowned history. Yet, with Hamilton at the base of Mercedes’ 8 Constructor Championships and his own almost record-breaking 7 Driver championships, Ferrari aim to restore both his and their own glory with the former Mercedes’ star, creating perhaps a bitter but epic atmosphere. Former British racing driver, Martin Brundle sees this opportunity for both Mercedes and Ferrari as a ‘reset’ which provides incentive to motivate and encourage teams to battle it out, especially after their somewhat lacklustre performances in recent seasons. This could be a chance for fans to see the top 3 teams of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari battle it out as they all strive to add another trophy to their already busy cabinets.

Another infamous contender poised to challenge both Mercedes and Ferrari is Red Bull, led by energetic Max Verstappen who boasts a record breaking 19 wins in a single season, accompanied by Sergio Perez. After Hamilton’s signing with Ferrari, the stage is set for a fierce competition between Red Bull and Ferrari, especially with the elite calibre of drivers both teams now boast while they chase wins and inevitably, championships. In addition to this, Red Bull form a strong opposition to Mercedes, now that Hamilton is out of the picture, they will look to dethrone Mercedes and overtake the 8 Constructor championships Mercedes have won, but both teams will not go down without a fast fuelled fight.

The phrase ‘keep your enemies closer’ is none more true than in F1, where ‘teammates’ are seen as the best comparison for drivers. With Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, he will now be judged and scrutinised against his teammate Charles Leclerc, who has been with Ferrari since the 2019 season. With them both piloting the SF-24 for next season, being in the same car allows for a more direct comparison between the two drivers as they fight for their place in the team. This can be positive and can allow them to push each other to be more consistent and faster, however Hamilton is all too familiar with colliding with his teammates as seen with his former and now retired Mercedes partner Nico Rosberg during both the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix and the infamous 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. The 2024 season could see both Leclerc and Hamilton come to blows as they pursue the Driver’s Championship.

F1 is very a technical sport with complex rules, regulations and relations and there is no better example than the potential rivalry between McLaren and Ferrari. With McLaren having Mercedes as their engine supplier while the Ferrari ‘works’ team provide their own engine, it’s clear to see the technological and engineering rivalry between these teams. This is regardless of the fact that Hamilton used to drive for McLaren from 2007 – 2012. Development of the cars and the engines is a major factor in the performance of a team, and the Ferrari works team now face even greater tensions between them and all other teams with different engine suppliers, most notably Mercedes and McLaren.

These heightened tensions could be said to stem from Hamilton’s decision to change teams, emphasising his role in Formula 1 and the importance of his position in the racing world. Whilst he leaves a hole in the heart of Mercedes, he has potential to change the dynamics of F1 and how teams view one another, competing more strongly than ever. With Ferrari in high hopes to dominate the forthcoming seasons, we can only look forward to what this exciting season is to be filled with and who will come out on top.

Edited by Grace Hughes


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